Agni: 57 definitions



Agni means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Hindi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Fire (अग्नि, agni) is one of the five primary elements (pañcabhūta) forming the basic components of the world, according to Vāstu-śāstra literature. It is because of the presence and balance of these five elements that our planet thrives with life.

Vastushastra book cover
context information

Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Google Books: Elements of Hindu iconography

Agni.—This is represented in two varieties according as it is used as a weapon of war or employed for the purpose of making offerings.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

1) Agni (अग्नि) refers to one of the several “attributes” (āyudha) or “accessories” of a detiy commonly seen depicted in Hindu iconography, defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—Agni is represented in two varieties, according to whether it is used as a weapon of war or employed for the purpose of making offerings. Agni also represents “containment”, referring to one of the attributes of Lord Śiva.

2) Agni (अग्नि) also refers to one of the Aṣṭadikpālaka (“eight guardians of the direction”).—The hand poses for the eight dikpālas (guardians of directions) are described in the Abhinayadarpaṇa and they are followed in the dance performance. In images, Agni is found with four hands where the upper hands hold a torch in kartarīmukha-hastas and the lower hands hold a porringer in kuvi-patāka-hasta. In dance, Agni is depicted with the right hand in tripatāka-hasta and the left hand in kāṅgula-hasta. The tripatāka-hasta depicts as if holding the torch and the kāṅgula-hasta depicts as if holding the porringer.

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Agni (अग्नि, “heat”) is the invariable agent in the process of pāka (digestion, transformation). It is a Sanskrit technical from Āyurveda (Indian medicine) used throughout literature such as the Suśrutasaṃhitā or the Carakasaṃhitā. According to the texts, Agni is responsible for the digestion and metabolism of the human body. When Agni is unsettled, it can be the cause for a wide range of complications.

There are thirteen commonly used Agnis:—

  1. Jāṭharāgni (‘gastric fire’)

The seven Dhātvāgni:

  1. Rasāgni,
  2. Raktāgni,
  3. Māṃsāgni,
  4. Medāgni,
  5. Asthyāgni,
  6. Majjāgni,
  7. Śukrāgni.

The five Bhūtāgni:

  1. Ākāśāgni,
  2. Vāyvagni,
  3. Tejogni,
  4. Jalāgni
  5. Pārthivāgni.

There are three kinds of vitiated Agni:

  1. Viṣamāgni,
  2. Tīkṣnāgni
  3. and Mandāgni.

Mandāgni is the most common cause of most of the diseases, but all three abnormalities of Agni are responsible for producing the various types of diseases

Source: Google Books: Ayurveda for health & Well-Being

In Ayurveda, Agni is a technical concept of energetics that has its origins in Tejas (fire), one of the primordial pentads. Proper functioning of Agni is responsible for health and its primary indication is appetite or hunger.

Agni is the biological fire which is converting. It governs digestion and metabolism. Ingested substances are converted by Agni into an easier form for assimilation, absoprtion, nourishment and storage in the body. Anything you see, hear, smell, feel by touch etc. is converted by Agni into an impression and stored in the memory. Agni metabolizes and extracts nourishment from the environment. Formation of the Doshas, Dhatus and Malas is also a prdouct of Agni. Agni creates cells, tissues and information. Agni processes residues for elimination.

There are thirteen types of Agni functioning in the body.

  • Food digestive force, Jathara-agni.
  • Five elemental Agnis, Bhuta-agni,
  • Seven tissue Agnis, Dhatu-agni.
Source: Google Books: Essentials of Ayurveda

Agni (अग्नि) is the invariable agent in the process of pāka (digestion, transformation). They are thirteen in number—jāṭharāgni (gastric fire) one, bhūtāgni five and dhātvāgni seven. Of them the gastric fire known as Vaiśvānara (present in all living beings) is the most important one which digests the four types of food and transforms it into rasa and mala.

Source: Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (first 5 chapters)

1) Agni (अग्नि) refers to “digestion”, as mentioned in verse 5.37-39 of the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna) by Vāgbhaṭa.—Accordingly, “[...] [ghee is] recommended for wit, memory, intellect, digestion [viz., agni], strength, longevity, sperm, eyes, [...]: ghee [viz., ghṛta] (is) possessed of a thousand powers (and), by its (many) ways of application, productive of a thousand effects”.

2) Agni (अग्नि) refers to “fire” (i.e., cauterization), as mentioned in verse 5.37-39.—Accordingly, “[...] [ghee is] recommended for [...] (and) those exhausted from pulmonary rupture, pulmonary consumption, erysipelas, scalpel, and fire [viz., agni]; dispersive of wind, choler, poison, frenzy, desiccation, unbeautifulness, and fever, [...]: ghee [viz., ghṛta] (is) possessed of a thousand powers (and), by its (many) ways of application, productive of a thousand effects”.

Source: Cogprints: Concepts of Human Physiology in Ayurveda

‘Agni’ itself is present in the body in the form of Pitta. When it is normal, it performs the functions like maintenance of normal digestion, normal vision, normal body temperature, normal complexion, valor, happiness and nutrition. When it is abnormal, all these functions also will be abnormal (Carakasaṃhitā Sūtrasthāna 12/11). Other functions of endocrine system are described under the functions of ‘Pitta’.

Source: Shodhganga: Edition translation and critical study of yogasarasamgraha

Agni (अग्नि) refers to the medicinal plant known as “Plumbago indica Linn.” and is dealt with in the 15th-century Yogasārasaṅgraha (Yogasara-saṅgraha) by Vāsudeva: an unpublished Keralite work representing an Ayurvedic compendium of medicinal recipes. The Yogasārasaṃgraha [mentioning agni] deals with entire recipes in the route of administration, and thus deals with the knowledge of pharmacy (bhaiṣajya-kalpanā) which is a branch of pharmacology (dravyaguṇa).

Source: Ayurveda glossary of terms

Agni (अग्नि):—1. Fire, the phenomenon of combustion manifested in light, flame, and heat 2. One of the five basic elements (Paṅcamahābhūtas) that make up all matter in the universe. 3. All factors responsible for digestion and metabolism / transformation. This is of three classes: Jaṭharāgni, Bhūtāgni and Dhātvagni. 4. Physiologically, the intensity of Agni is influenced by Doṣas and is of four types: Viṣama (irregular, due to the dominance of Vāta), Tīkṣṇa (intense, due to the dominance of Pitta), Manda (depressed due to the dominance of Kapha) and Sama (normal, due to the balanced state of all three Doṣas).

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Agni (अग्नि).—Genealogy. Agni was descended from Viṣṇu in this order: Viṣṇu-Brahmā-Aṅgiras-Bṛhaspati-Agni. (See full article at Story of Agni from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Agni (अग्नि) refers to a deity that was once worshipped in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) according to the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—Agni is referred to mostly as the sacrificial fire but his image erected by Aṅgiras is also mentioned once. As Agni’s association with goat is known from the Vedas, the Epics and the Purāṇas, it would not be unreasonable to suppose that Chāgaleśvara of the Nīlamata stands for Agni.

Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Agni (अग्नि) refers to one of the eight guardians of the quarters, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.22. Accordingly as Śiva said to Sitā:—“[...] the different parts of the mountain Meru seem to be echoing the pleasing sweet sounds of bees etc. which cause the incitement of love of the guardians of the quarters viz. Indra, Kubera, Yama, Varuṇa, Agni, Nirṛti, Marut (Wind) and the Supreme lord (Īśa). Heaven, the abode of the Devas is stationed on the summits of the Meru wherein the cities of the guardians of the quarters are also situated. They are brilliant. Beautiful celestial damsels, Rambhā, Śacī, Menakā and others heighten their glory”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Agni (अग्नि).—The God of Fire also known as Hutāśana, Havyavāhana and Vahni.1 A place sacred to Agni in the Sarasvatī which Vidura visited.2 Svāhā and her three sons are deities presiding over Agni.3 One of the gods with power to confer boons or pronounce curse on the world, curse on elephants.4 On the tail of Śiśumāra.5 Invested by the māyā of Bhagavān, Agni does not sometimes understand his will and work.6 A guardian of the world.7 The mouth of Hari as embodying all Vedas.8 Is pleased with a devotee of Hari.9 Even the powerful Agni could not digest Brāhman's property when misappropriated.10 Identified with Hari.11 Swallowed the seed of Śiva borne by Gaṅgā as a punishment for disturbing Umā's union with the Lord, and unable to digest it, he discharged it into a bush of reeds (śarakānana) where it became Kumāra.12 Goes round Dhruva.13 Presented Ājagava bow to Pṛthu.14 Married a daughter of Dakṣa.15 Worshipped in Kuśadvīpa.16 His son was Manu Svārociṣa.17 Fought with Puloma in a Devāsura war,18 followed Indra's army against Kṛṣṇa who took away Pārijāta from heaven. Beaten by Kṛṣṇa, he escaped alive from the field.19 His town visited by Arjuna in search of a dead child of a Brāhman of Dvārakā.20

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa, I. 15. 8; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa, III. 10. 24-35.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa, III. 1. 22.
  • 3) Ib. IV. 1. 60.
  • 4) Ib. IV. 14. 26-27; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7, 352.
  • 5) Bhāgavata-purāṇa, V. 23. 5; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 23. 104.
  • 6) Bhāgavata-purāṇa, VI. 3. 14. 15.
  • 7) Ib., VIII. 10. 26.
  • 8) Ib. VIII. 16. 9.
  • 9) Ib. X. 41. 13.
  • 10) Ib. X. 64. 32.
  • 11) Ib. XI. 16. 13.
  • 12) Ib. IV. 7. 64[]; VI. 6. 14; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 15. 21; 20. 46; 26. 53.
  • 13) Bhāgavata-purāṇa, IV. 9. 21.
  • 14) Ib. IV. 15. 18.
  • 15) Ib. IV. 1. 48.
  • 16) Ib. V. 20. 2.
  • 17) Ib. VIII. 1. 19.
  • 18) Ib. VIII. 10. 31;
  • 19) Ib. X. [65 (V) 40]; [66 (V) 27-31].
  • 20) Ib. X. 89. 44.

1b) A lokapāla: Gold pleasing to Agni; worship of;1 burning women and children in Tripura, he pleaded that he was not a free agent, but only carrying out orders.2 The vaṃśa of Agni. The succession of fires and their descendants detailed in Ch. 51 of the matsya purāṇa.3 The bhāgavata purāṇa mentions 49 Agnis. Pāvaka, Pavamāna and Śuci and their 45 sons together with Svāhā. All invoked in sacrifices.4 Another classification of fires: divyam, bhautika or abyoni, and pārthiva.5

  • 1) Matsya-purāṇa 225. 13; 266. 20, 63.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 188. 29-57.
  • 3) Cf. Mhb. Vana: 220. 4.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 1. 60-62; 7, 16.
  • 5) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 24. 6; 21. 53. 56; Vāyu-purāṇa 53. 5.

1c) One of the eight Vasus, and a son of Vasu. Wife Vasorddhāra. Draviṇaka and others are sons.1 Identified with Hari.2

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa, VI. 6. 11, 13.
  • 2) Ib. XI. 16. 13; Matsya-purāṇa 8. 4.

1d) Married Vikeśi. Father of Ūrjja clan of apsaras and also of Nala and Aṅgāraka, who afterwards became a planet.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 24. 91; III. 7. 21, 229.

1e) An Ātreya, and one of the seven sages of Tāmasa epoch.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 36. 47; Matsya-purāṇa 9. 15; Vāyu-purāṇa 62. 41.

1f) A son of Āgneyī and Ūru: His daughter Succhāyā married Śiṣṭa, son of Dhruva: Ārṣeya pravara.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 4. 38, 43; 196. 9.

1g) alias Ṛta; son of Samvatsara;1 married Svāhā, a daughter of Dakṣa.2

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 13. 23.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 1. 76; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 56; 12. 1.

1h) A Marut gana of that name.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 171. 52.

1i) The eldest son and mindborn son of Brahmā in Svāyambhuva antara;1 of Brahmā's tapas;2 one of the eight tanus of Mahādeva,3 hymns to;4 gave rise to a family of 49 fires.5

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 29. 1; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 10. 14.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 21. 63-4.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 27. 35.
  • 4) Vāyu-purāṇa 21. 71ff.
  • 5) Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 10. 15-7.

1j) (Bhūtapati) one Agni made into three by Aila to attain the Gandharva loka in the Tretāyuga. The Gandharvas presented him with a pot of Agni which he took to his city to perform sacrifices. He placed it on the Araṇi when an Aśvattha appeared to his surprise. When Aila informed Gandharvas the latter asked him to turn the Aśvattha thrice and get three fires with which to sacrifice.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 91. 48: 101. 21.

1k) See anila.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 15. 114.

1l) A Mahāpurāṇa (also Āgneya).*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 6. 22.
Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Agni (अग्नि) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.60.22) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Agni) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

1) Agni (अग्नि) is the name of a deity and represents a form of Śiva, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—In the Saurapurāṇa, Agni is connected with the birth of Skanda, who is produced by him and Śiva. Agni is a form of Śiva. The Vedic names of Agni like Meṣavāhana, Hutāśana Havyavāhana, Hutabhuk, Vibhāvasu, Kavi Yajñadeva are retained in the Saurapurāṇa.

2) Agni (अग्नि) is the husband of Svāhā: one of the daughters of Dakṣa and Prasūti: one of the two daughters of Manu-svāyaṃbhuva and Śatarūpā, according to the Vaṃśa (‘genealogical description’) of the Saurapurāṇa.—Accordingly, Ākūti was married to Ruci and Prasūti to Dakṣa. Dakṣa produced in Prasūti twenty-four daughters. [...] [Svāhā was given to Agni.] Agni and Svāhā had three sons—Pāvaka, Pavamāna and Vaidyuta-Pāvaka.

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Agni (अग्नि) is the Sanskrit name for a deity to be worshipped during raṅgapūjā, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra 3.1-8. Accordingly, the master of the dramatic art who has been initiated for the purpose shall consecrate the playhouse after he has made obeisance (e.g., to Agni).

Natyashastra book cover
context information

Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Agni (अग्नि) refers to one of the 53 gods to be worshipped in the southern quarter and given pāyasa (rice boiled in milk) according to the Vāstuyāga rite in Śaktism (cf. Śāradātilaka-tantra III-V). The worship of these 53 gods happens after assigning them to one of the 64 compartment while constructing a Balimaṇḍapa. Vāstu is the name of a prodigious demon, who was killed by 53 gods (e.g., Agni).

Source: JSTOR: Tāntric Dīkṣā by Surya Kanta

Agni (अग्नि, “fire”) forms a major part of preliminary rites before Dīkṣā: an important ritual of Śāktism described in the Śāradātilaka-tantra, chapters III-V.—Fire is kindled the next day with appropriate rites. There are eighteen purificatory rites of the kuṇḍas, which are duly performed. The fire is placed in the yoni of the kuṇḍa and is consecrated. The various tongues (jihvās) of fire are assigned to the various limbs of the body of the worshipper. The eight forms of fire, viz. Jātaveda, Saptajihvā, Havyavāhana, Aśvodaraja, Vaiśvānara, Kaumāratejas, Viśvamukha and Devamukha are assigned to the body of the worshipper.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

Agni (अग्नि).—A term in the Kātantra grammar for a word ending in i (इ) or u (उ) cf. इदुदग्निः (idudagniḥ) Kāt. II.1.8, अग्नेरमो (agneramo)s कारः (kāraḥ) Kāt. II.1.50.

context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 5

Agni (अग्नि) or Agnimudrā is the name of a mudrā described in the Īśvarasaṃhitā 64-65.—Accordingly, “the two hands are to be formed to have the form of lotus, concealing the thumb and little finger, O Brahmin! the tips (in the hands) resembling the pericarp of the lotus. The remaining three fingers, index finger and others to be turned upwards on the two hands. It is to be formed not be closely joined. It is mentioned as the mudrā of Agni”.

Mūdra (eg., Agni-mudrā) is so called as it gives joy to the tattvas in the form of karman for those who offer spotless worship, drive out the defects which move about within and without and sealing up of what is done.

Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Agni (अग्नि) refers to “presiding deity of fire and son of Brahmā”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Agni (अग्नि) refers to:—The god of fire; son of Brahmā; the divine personification of fire sacrifice; regarded as the mouthpiece of the demigods and their messenger to mankind. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Agi is Indra’s twin. He is the God of fire and the accepter of sacrifices. He is the supreme director of religious ceremonies. He is also a messenger between the mortals and the gods.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Agni (अग्नि, “fire”):—Agni is one of the most important Vedic gods representing divine illumination. He is the protector of men and their homes. According to the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Agṇi is the firstborn son of Brahmā, but in the human world, he is the son of Dharma and Vasubhārya.

As an element, Agni represents the earthly or common fire, either visible or potential (that is, hidden in fuel). This is one of his five natural forms.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āraṇyaka

Agni (अग्नि, “fire”) refers to one of the devatāpañcaka (fivefold divinities), defined in the Taittirīya-āraṇyaka 7.7.1. The devatāpañcaka, and other such fivefold divisions, are associated with the elemental aspect (adhibhūta) of the three-fold division of reality (adhibhūta, adhidaiva and adhyātma) which attempts to explain the phenomenal nature of the universe. Adhibhūta denotes all that belongs to the material or elemental creation.

The Taittirīya-āraṇyaka is associated with the Kṛṣṇa-yajurveda and dates from at least the 6th century BCE. It is composed of 10 chapters and discusses vedic rituals and sacrifices (such as the mahāyajña) but also includes the Taittirīya-upaniṣad and the Mahānārāyaṇa-upaniṣad.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

Agni is the God of Fire. He is said to be the son of Dyaus (Heaven) or of Heaven and Earth [R.V.1.160]. Indra is said to be his twin brother. The later Puranas say that he is the son of Aditi and Kashyapa. The very first hymn of the Rig Veda is addressed to him. It invokes his blessings upon mankind, extolling his virtues as the divine priest, the lord of sacrifice. Next to Indra, he is the most important Deva. Around 200 hymns are addressed to him in the RigVeda.

There are many descriptions in the Rig Veda of his various births, forms and abodes. He is produced daily from the two kindling sticks (aranis), which are his parents. As soon as he is born, he devours his parents. Since great force is required to kindle him, he is called 'son of strength'. Being produced every morning, he is forever young. No sacrificer is older than him, for he conducted the first sacrifice. Being created in the aerial waters, he is the embryo of the waters. Indeed as 'son-of-waters' (अपां नपाद्), he is a separate deity. He was born in the highest heaven, and was brought down from heaven by Matarisvan, the Indian Prometheus. The Sun [R.V.7.63] is also regarded as a form of Agni.

Agni is central to the sacrifice and is called the priest. He is called the domestic priest (purohita), invoking priest (hotr), officiating priest (Adhvaryus) and playing priest (Brahmana). Just as Indra is chief among warriors, Agni is the chief of priests.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Agni (अग्‍नि): The sacred Hindu fire god.

Source: Hindupedia: The Hindu Encyclopedia

Agni literally means

  • Fire; lightning; the sun;
  • Fire as one of the five traditional physical elements that make up the world of matter
  • The prominent and central fire-deity of the Vedic pantheon, who is hailed as the mediator between the Gods and humans, and the receiver of oblations and sacrifices of behalf of the Gods, who symbolizes the flame of Divine Will or Force of the Divine Consciousness working in the cosmic creation and manifestation; the sovereign guardian of the south-east quarter, the twin brother of Indra, the husband of Sudarśanā and Svāhā, and father of Dakṣiṇam, Gārhapatyam and Āhavanīyam; the preceptor of the gods, protector of ceremonies, of men, the summit of the sky, the centre of the earth and the conferer of immortality; one of the eight Vasus; the south-east direction.

According to the scriptures, every elemental force is presided over by a deity. The presiding deity of tejas, fire and heat, is Agni. The Vedas place Agni, the deity of fire, get a key place in Vedic hymns. A large number of them are devoted to describing and praising Him.

Source: Red Zambala: Iconography of the Vedic Deities

Agni was the most important god of the Ṛg-veda, the mediator between humans and gods and the protector of men and their homes. Esoterically he represents divine illumination. The science of fire is the key to all knowledge. The discovery of fire led to the creation of laws, rules and discipline — civilization stems from the correct use of fire. He is shown having 3 faces — representing the 3 Vedic fires Āhavanīya, Dakṣiṇā and Gārhapatya Agni.

His standard (symbol) is smoke (Dhūma- ketu) and he rides on a ram (Chāga) one of the main sacrificial animals which also represents leadership and aggression.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study (h)

Agni (अग्नि) is the personification of the sacrificial fire in the Ṛgveda. He is therefore the god of the priests of gods. The Vedic conception of Agni are partly retained and occasionally revived in later mythology.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Tibetan Buddhism

Agni (अग्नि) refers to one of the various Ṛṣis (sages) and Mahārṣis (great sages) mentioned as attending the teachings in the 6th century Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa: one of the largest Kriyā Tantras devoted to Mañjuśrī (the Bodhisattva of wisdom) representing an encyclopedia of knowledge primarily concerned with ritualistic elements in Buddhism. The teachings in this text originate from Mañjuśrī and were taught to and by Buddha Śākyamuni in the presence of a large audience (including Agni).

Source: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Agni (अग्नि) (direction: Agni-corner) refers to one of the eight Dikpālas, commonly depicted in Buddhist Iconography, and mentioned in the 11th-century Niṣpannayogāvalī of Mahāpaṇḍita Abhayākara.—His Colour is red; his Vehicle is the goat; he has two arms

Agni is described in the Niṣpannayogāvalī (dharmadhātuvāgīśvara-maṇḍala) as follows:—

“In the Agni corner there is Agni riding on a Goat. He is red incolour and holds in his two hands the śruva (ladle) and the kamaṇḍalu (water bowl)”.

[As Agnideva his forms occur twice in the Chinese collection].

Source: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

1) Agni (अग्नि) refers to one of the eight direction-guardians (dikpāla) of the Guṇacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the guṇacakra refers to one of the four divisions of the sahaja-puṭa (‘innate layer’), situated within the padma (lotus) in the middle of the Herukamaṇḍala. Agni is associated with the charnel grounds (śmaśāna) named Lakṣmīvana; with the tree (vṛkṣa) named Karañja; with the serpent king (nāgendra) named Huluhulu and with the cloud king (meghendra) named Pūraṇa.

2) Agni (अग्नि) also refers to one of the eight charnel grounds (śmaśāna) of the Jñānacakra, according to the same work. Accordingly, the jñānacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the saṃbhoga-puṭa (‘enjoyment layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. Agni is associated with the tree (vṛkṣa) named Campaka and with the direction-guardian (dikpāla) named Bhṛgu.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Agni (अग्नि) refers to the sixth of the “eight world protectors” (aṣṭalokapāla) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 8). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., aṣṭalokapāla and Agni). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Agni is, besides one of the “eight world protectors” (aṣṭalokapāla), one of the “ten world protectors” (daśalokapāla) and one of the “fourteen world protectors” (caturdaśalokapāla).

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: The Jaina Iconography

Agni (अग्नि) refers to one of the Dikpāla or “guardians of the quarters”, a class of deities within Jainism commonly depicted in Jaina art and iconography.—Both from the Śvetāmbara and Digambara standpoints, Agni is described as riding a ram, holding a Śakti (spear) and bearing seven flames. One Śvetāmbara text, however, gives him a bow and arrow while a Digambara text adds a sacrificial pot to his attributes and makes rosary as his armlet. His wife is Svāhā and he has the charge of the south-eastern regions.

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

1) Agni (अग्नि) or Vahni refers to one of the nine divisions of the Lokāntika-gods, according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (“lives of the 63 illustrious persons”): a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism. Accordingly, “[...] while in this way the Supreme Lord’s mind was woven with the threads of continuity of disgust with saṃsāra, then the Lokāntika-gods who have nine sub-divisions—Sārasvatas, Ādityas, Vahnis (Agnis), Aruṇas, Gardatoyas, Tuṣitas, Avyābādhas, Maruts, and Riṣṭas, living at the end of Brahmaloka, having additional ornaments made by folded hands like lotus-buds on their heads, came to the feet of the Lord of the World”.

2) Agni (अग्नि) or Agnika from Vasantapura was known as Jamadagni, according to chapter 6.4 [subhūma-cakravartin-caritra].—Accordingly:—“Now, Ṛṣabhanātha had a son Kuru, after whom Kurudeśa was named. He had a son Hastin, after whom Hāstinapura was named, the native land of Tīrthakṛts and cakrins. Anantavīrya, belonging to this line, was king there, long-armed. Now, in the town Vasantapura in Bharatakṣetra there was a youth, Agnika, whose family had perished completely. One day he left that place for another country and, wandering about without a caravan, he came to a hermitage. The abbot, Jana, received Agni like a son and he received the name of Jamadagni among the people. Practicing severe penance, like a visible fire, because of his splendor hard to bear he became known throughout the world. [...]”.

Source: Shodhganga: A cultural study on the jain western Indian illustrated manuscripts

Agni (अग्नि, “flames”).—The fourteenth of “fourteen dreams” of Triśalā.—Ghee and honey is poured continuously over the flames but no smoke is formed. The burning flames are constantly moving and appear beautiful.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 2: the Category of the living

Agni (अग्नि, “fire”) or Tejas refers to one of the five types of immobile beings (sthāvara), according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 2.13. The sthāvara is a type of empirical (saṃsārī) soul, or sentient (jīva). The state of empirical souls due to the rise of ‘stationery-body-making karma’/ sthāvara-nāmakarma, having only one type of sense organ namely body and which cannot move around freely are called with stationery bodies (sthāvara), eg., jala.

What is the meaning of fire (agni)? The crust of the fire having heat and light as its own nature but no consciousness is called fire. What is meant by fire-bodied living beings? These are the living beings that have fire as their body. How many types of fire are there? There are four types of fire namely fire, fire-bodied, life in fire body and life tending towards a fire body.

General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geography

Source: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions

Agni (अग्नि) refers to a name-ending for place-names according to Pāṇini VI.2.126. Pāṇini also cautions his readers that the etymological meaning of place-names should not be held authoritative since the name should vanish when the people leave the place who gave their name to it.

Source: Project Gutenberg: Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1

1) Agni (“fire”) is one of the many exogamous septs (division) among the Gollas (a great pastoral caste of the Telugu people). The traditions of the Golla caste give a descent from the god Krishna and the hereditary occupation of the Gollas is tending sheep and cattle, and selling milk.

2) Agni (“fire”) is one of the exogamous septs (divisions) among the Kurubas (a tribe of South India). The Kurubas are sub-divided into clans or gumpus, each having a headman or guru called a gaudu, who gives his name to the clan. And the clans are again sub-divided into gotras or septs (viz., Agni).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Agni.—(IE 7-1-2), ‘three’. Note: agni is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

agni (अग्नि).—m (S) Fire. 2 The divinity presiding over fire. 3 Gastric heat, considered as the power of digestion. 4 The Regent of the south-east quarter. 5 The south-east quarter.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

agni (अग्नि).—m Fire; gastric heat.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Agni (अग्नि).—[aṅgati ūrdhvaṃ gacchati aṅg-ni,nalopaśca Uṇ.4.5., or fr. añc 'to go.']

1) Fire कोप°, चिन्ता°, शोक°, ज्ञान°, राज° (kopa°, cintā°, śoka°, jñāna°, rāja°), &c.

2) The God of fire.

3) Sacrificial fire of three kinds (gārhapatya, āhavanīya and dakṣiṇa); पिता बै गार्हपत्योऽ ग्निर्माताग्निर्दक्षिणः स्मृतः । गुरुराहवनीयस्तु साग्नित्रेता गरीयसी (pitā bai gārhapatyo' gnirmātāgnirdakṣiṇaḥ smṛtaḥ | gururāhavanīyastu sāgnitretā garīyasī) || Ms. 2.232.

4) The fire of the stomach, digestive faculty, gastric fluid.

5) Bile (nābherūrdhva hṛdayādadhastādāmāśayamācakṣate tadgataṃ sauraṃ tejaḥ pittam ityācakṣate).

6) Cauterization (agni- karman).

7) Gold.

8) The number three. शराग्निपरिमाणम् (śarāgniparimāṇam) (pañcatriṃśat) Mb.13.17.26.

9) Name of various plants: (a) चित्रक (citraka) Plumbago Zeylanica; (b) रक्तचित्रक (raktacitraka); (c) भल्लातक (bhallātaka) Semicarpus Anacardium; (d) निम्बक (nimbaka) Citrus Acida.

1) A mystical substitute for the letter र् (r). In Dvandva comp. as first member with names of deities, and with particular words अग्नि (agni) is changed to अग्ना (agnā), as °विष्णू, °मरुतौ (viṣṇū, °marutau), or to अग्नी, °पर्जन्यौ, ° वरुणौ, °षोमौ (agnī, °parjanyau, ° varuṇau, °ṣomau)

11) पिङगला नाडी (piṅagalā nāḍī); यत्र तद् ब्रह्म निर्द्वन्द्वं यत्र सोमः (yatra tad brahma nirdvandvaṃ yatra somaḥ), (iḍā) सहाग्निना (sahāgninā) (agniḥ piṅgalā) Mb.14.2.1.

12) Sacrificial altar, अग्निकुण्ड (agnikuṇḍa) cf. Rām. 1.14.28.

13) Sky. अग्निर्मूर्धा (agnirmūrdhā) Muṇḍ 2.1.4. [cf. L. ignis.]

[Agni is the God of Fire, the Ignis of the Latins and Ogni of the Slavonians. He is one of the most prominent deities of the Ṛigveda. He, as an immortal, has taken up his abode among mortals as their guest; he is the domestic priest, the successful accomplisher and protector of all ceremonies; he is also the religious leader and preceptor of the gods, a swift messenger employed to announce to the immortals the hymns and to convey to them the oblations of their worshippers, and to bring them down from the sky to the place of sacrifice. He is sometimes regarded as the mouth and the tongue through which both gods and men participate in the sacrifices. He is the lord, protector and leader of people, monarch of men, the lord of the house, friendly to mankind, and like a father, mother, brother &c. He is represented as being produced by the attrition of two pieces of fuel which are regarded as husband and wife. Sometimes he is considered to have been brought down from heaven or generated by Indra between two clouds or stones, created by Dyau, or fashioned by the gods collectively. In some passages he is represented as having a triple existence, which may mean his threefold manifestations as the sun in heaven, lightning in the atmosphere, and as ordinary fire on the earth, although the three appearances are also elsewhere otherwise explained. His epithets are numberless and for the most part descriptive of his physical characteristics : धूमकेतु, हुतभुज्, शुचि, रोहिताश्व, सप्तजिह्व, तोमरधर, घृतान्न, चित्रभानु, ऊर्ध्वशोचिस्, शोचिष्केश, हरिकेश, हिरण्यदन्त, अयोदंष्ट्र (dhūmaketu, hutabhuj, śuci, rohitāśva, saptajihva, tomaradhara, ghṛtānna, citrabhānu, ūrdhvaśocis, śociṣkeśa, harikeśa, hiraṇyadanta, ayodaṃṣṭra) &c. In a celebrated passage he is said to have 4 horns, 3 feet, 2 heads, and 7 hands. The highest divine functions are ascribed to Agni. He is said to have spread out the two worlds and produced them, to have supported heaven, formed the mundane regions and luminaries of heaven, to have begotten Mitra and caused the sun to ascend the sky. He is the head and summit of the sky, the centre of the earth. Earth, Heaven and all beings obey his commands. He knows and sees all worlds or creatures and witnesses all their actions. The worshippers of Agni prosper, they are wealthy and live long. He is the protector of that man who takes care to bring him fuel. He gives him riches and no one can overcome him who sacrifices to this god. He confers, and is the guardian of, immortality. He is like a water-trough in a desert and all blessing issue from him. He is therefore constantly supplicated for all kinds of boons, riches, food, deliverance from enemies and demons, poverty, reproach, childlessness, hunger &c. Agni is also associated with Indra in different hymns and the two gods are said to be twin brothers. Such is the Vedic conception of Agni; but in the course of mythological personifications he appears as the eldest son of Brahmā and is called Abhimānī [Viṣṇu Purāṇa]. His wife was Svāhā; by her, he had 3 sons Pāvaka, Pavamāna and Śuchi; and these had forty-five sons; altogether 49 persons who are considered identical with the 49 fires. He is also represented as a son of Aṅgiras, as a king of the Pitṛs or Manes, as a Marut and as a grandson of Śāṇḍila, and also as a star. The Harivaṃśa describes him as clothed in black, having smoke for his standard and head-piece and carrying a flaming javelin. He is borne in a chariot drawn by red horses and the 7 winds are the wheels of his car. He is accompanied by a ram and sometimes he is represented as riding on that animal. Agni was appointed by Brahamā as the sovereign of the quarter between the south and east, whence the direction is still known as Āgneyī. The Mahābhārata represents Agni as having exhausted his vigour and become dull by devouring many oblations at the several sacrifices made by king Śvetaki, but he recruited his strength by devouring the whole Khāṇḍava forest; for the story see the word खाण्डव (khāṇḍava)].

Derivable forms: agniḥ (अग्निः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Agni (अग्नि).—name of a yakṣa leader: Mahā-Māyūrī 236.17.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Agni (अग्नि).—m.

(-gniḥ) 1. Fire, always associated with the idea of the deity presiding over it, and who is worshipped by the Hindus. Agni is also regent of the south-east quarter. 2. A consecrated fire. 3. The fire of the stomach, the digestive faculty, appetite. 4. Bile. 5. Gold. 6. A plant of which the fruit has escharotic properties, (Semecarpus anacardium) 7. Another plant, (Plumbago zeylanica.) E. aṅga to mark, and ni Unadi aff. ṅa being dropped.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Agni (अग्नि).— (probably from añj in its original signification, To shine), m. 1. Fire. 2. The sacrificial fire. 3. The deity of fire. 4. The digestive power.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Agni (अग्नि).—[masculine] fire, or Agni (the god of fire).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

Agni (अग्नि) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—vaid. Oudh. Xx, 8. Xxii, 42.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Agni (अग्नि):—m. (√ag, [Uṇādi-sūtra]) fire, sacrificial fire (of three kinds, Gārhapatya, Āhavanīya, and Dakṣiṇa)

2) the number three, [Sūryasiddhānta]

3) the god of fire, the fire of the stomach, digestive faculty, gastric fluid

4) bile, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) gold, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) Name of various plants Semecarpus Anacardium, [Suśruta], Plumbago Zeylanica and Rosea, Citrus Acida

7) mystical substitute for the letter r

8) in the Kātantra grammar Name of noun-stems ending in i and u

9) (also) = next, [Āpastamba-śrauta-sūtra]

10) cf. [Latin] igni-s; [Lithuanian] ugni-s; [Slavonic or Slavonian] ognj.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Goldstücker Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Agni (अग्नि):—m.

(-gniḥ) 1) Fire; the fire for common use (or laukika) as well as the fire for sacrificial purposes (or vaidika) of which there are three kinds: the Gārhapatya, the Āhavanīya and the Dakṣiṇāgni (qq. vv.).

2) The deity of fire, one of the most ancient and most sacred objects of Hindu worship. As such Agni is considered as the mediator between men and gods, as protector of mankind and their home, and as witness of their actions; hence his invocation at all solemn occasions, at the nuptial ceremony &c. He is one of the eight Lokapālas or guardians of the world and especially the Lord of the south-east quarter. He appears in the progress of mythological personification as a son of Angiras, as a king of the Pitṛs or Manes, as a Marut, as a grandson of Śanḍila, as one of the seven Sages or Ṛṣis during the reign of Tāmasa or the fourth Manu, as a star and as a Ṛṣi or inspired author of several vaidic hymns.

3) The fire of the stomach, the digestive faculty.

4) Bile.

5) Gold.

6) A plant of which the fruit has escharotic properties (Semecarpus anacardium). See bhallātaka.

7) Another plant (Plumbago zeylanica). See citraka.

8) Another plant (Plumbago rosea).

9) (In arithmetic sometimes used as) a denomination of the numeral three (because there are three sacred fires; see above). E. aṅg, uṇ. aff. ni, the nasal of the root being dropped.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Agni (अग्नि):—(gniḥ) 2. m. God of fire; bile.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Agni (अग्नि) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Agaṇi, Aggi.

[Sanskrit to German]

Agni in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Agni (अग्नि):—(nf) fire; the god of fire; appetite; digestive faculty; ~[kaṇa] a spark; ~[kāṃḍa] arson, conflagration; ~[trkīḍā] firework; ~[dāha] cremating, cremation; ~[parīkṣā] ordeal, severe trial; [se gujarā huā] tried in the furnace; -[pūjā] fire-worship; -[pūjaka] fire-worshipper; [pratiṣṭhā] summoning and worshipping the god of fire (in order to commence a religious function); —[praveśa] entry into fire; immolation; ~[bāṇa] a fire-emitting/incendiary arrow;—[maṃda honā] to suffer from dyspepsia, to lose appetite ~[vardhaka] digestive; [varṣā] shelling, bombing, firing; -[saṃskāra] cremation; ~[sāt] consumed by or consigned to fire.

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